Avispa Fukuoka's seemingly inevitable relegation to J. League Division Two was confirmed today after it suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of Albirex Niigata.
The defeat left Fukuoka 14 points adrift of 15th-placed Urawa Reds and safety with only four matches left in the season.
Fukuoka had to win to keep its slim survival hopes alive and avoid an immediate return to the second tier but the visitor found itself trailing after just two minutes when
Fukuoka pulled a goal back two minutes from time through substitute
For Niigata, the victory was its third on the trot and lifts it up two spots to 11th.
Ventforet Kofu is still in serious relegation trouble of its own after slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Shimizu S-Pulse, whose goals came from
The result sees Kofu slip into the relegation zone on 30 points, two behind Urawa.
In today's other game, Cerezo Osaka won 4-0 at Jubilo Iwata to move into the top 10 with Japan U-22 midfielder